Honoring a Key Figure in Efforts to Racially Integrate the University of Delaware

ReddingThe University of Delaware recently held a ceremony on campus to dedicate a dormitory to honor the memory of Louis L. Redding. Redding was a graduate of Brown University and was the only African American in his 1928 graduating class at Harvard Law School. For 26 years, he was the only practicing African American attorney in the state of Delaware.

In 1950 Redding successfully argued a case in Delaware Chancery Court that led to the admission of African American students to the University of Delaware. He later brought one of the four lawsuits that were combined into the 1954 Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education. Redding died in 1998 but will be remembered with the naming of Louis L. Redding Hall on the university’s east campus.

Patrick Harker, president of the University of Delaware, remarked at the dedication ceremony, “This is an incredibly special day for us — a day of remembrance and celebration and, frankly, a day long overdue. We’ve gathered to honor Louis Lorenzo Redding, one of a core group of lawyers who exposed the fundamental fallacy and grave offense of the separate but equal doctrine and effectively dismantled the structure of Jim Crow segregation, a man who established himself as a true legend of civil rights law in America. Louis Redding changed UD for good. We are the institution we are today because of him.”

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